Tenants of our townhouse have been taking meth & illegal marijuana throughout the day. We can smell it when we walk by. They have a one-year lease, and have moved in 6 months ago. How to evict them safely and effectively?But how can we prove that they use illegal drugs? The only evidence is that we smell it when we walk by. Do we need to call DEA or the police for a raid to prove that they take illegal drugs before we are able to evict them?
They are in breach of the lease, so you can just issue them a 3 day notice to quit. If they don't move out, you can file an unlawful detainer complaint in court against them.
Illegal drug use is a classic example of nuisance, which is ground for eviction even under rent control. You should give a three day notice to cure or quit, then file an unlawful detainer or hire someone to assist you.
The best way to pursue a nuisance eviction for drugs is to build a case with complaints to law enforcement and from other tenants. Are people coming and going at all hours of the day and night? Are there lots of loud arguments? What other evidence of drug use do you have?
Serving your tenants with a three day notice and a subsequent eviction without sufficient evidence will only result in wasted time and money on your part.
There is a potential for you to have liability (see California Health and Safety Code sections 11570 through 11587), so you should act quickly.
It would be wise to seek the assistance of counsel.
My response to this question is never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.
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